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See detailUnderstanding angiogenesis through novel epigenetic modulators
Shiva Shankar, Thammadihalli Veerasangaiah ULg; Sulka, Béatrice; Blacher, Silvia ULg et al

Scientific conference (2012, June 22)

DNA methylation and histone deacetylation are two key epigenetic modifications that play central role in regulation of gene expression. Several studies have shown that histone deacetylases (HDAC) and DNA ... [more ▼]

DNA methylation and histone deacetylation are two key epigenetic modifications that play central role in regulation of gene expression. Several studies have shown that histone deacetylases (HDAC) and DNA methyltransferases (DNMT) inhibitors are potent anti-angiogenic compounds. Though combination of HDAC and DNMT inhibitors are now being examined in clinical trials of hematological malignancies, little work has been done to understand the effect of this combination on physiological and tumoral angiogenesis. We have designed and tested a family of twin drugs with intrinsic HDAC and DNMT inhibitory activities in relevant models of angiogenesis in vitro (Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells – HUVEC and aortic ring) and in vivo (chick chorioallantoic membrane and Zebrafish). We have identified a lead compound having quantifiable anti-angiogenic effect without cytotoxicity affecting global histone acetylation and DNA methylation levels. In order to elucidate its anti-angiogenic mechanism, we characterized gene expression pattern simultaneously with the methylation profile of HUVEC cells treated with the lead compound and reference epigenetic modulators. This approach based on parallel microarray analyses permitted us to underscore a list of genes exclusively affected by the lead compound but not by other HDAC or DNMT inhibitors. These genes were then analyzed using the Ingenuity Pathway software revealing potential involvement of a subset of genes in angiogenesis. Our present work is focused on exploring the exact role of these genes on angiogenesis using RNA silencing and vectors cloned with genes of interest. We are using these novel epigenetic modulators as a tool to understand the regulatory mechanism of angiogenesis and to develop effective approaches to treat cancer. [less ▲]

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See detailMatrix metalloproteinase-2 governs lymphatic vessel formation as an interstitial collagenase.
Detry, Benoît ULg; Erpicum, Charlotte ULg; Paupert, Jenny ULg et al

in Blood (2012), 119(21), 5048-56

Lymphatic dysfunctions are associated with several human diseases, including lymphedema and metastatic spread of cancer. Although it is well recognized that lymphatic capillaries attach directly to ... [more ▼]

Lymphatic dysfunctions are associated with several human diseases, including lymphedema and metastatic spread of cancer. Although it is well recognized that lymphatic capillaries attach directly to interstitial matrix mainly composed of fibrillar type I collagen, the interactions occurring between lymphatics and their surrounding matrix have been overlooked. In this study, we demonstrate how matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)–2 drives lymphatic morphogenesis through Mmp2-gene ablation in mice, mmp2 knockdown in zebrafish and in 3D-culture systems, and through MMP2 inhibition. In all models used in vivo (3 murine models and thoracic duct development in zebrafish) and in vitro (lymphatic ring and spheroid assays), MMP2 blockage or down-regulation leads to reduced lymphangiogenesis or altered vessel branching. Our data show that lymphatic endothelial cell (LEC) migration through collagen fibers is affected by physical matrix constraints (matrix composition, density and cross-linking). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and confocal reflection microscopy using DQ-collagen highlight the contribution of MMP2 to mesenchymal-like migration of LEC associated with collagen fiber remodeling. Our findings provide new mechanistic insight into how LEC negotiate an interstitial type I collagen barrier and reveal an unexpected MMP2-driven collagenolytic pathway for lymphatic vessel formation and morphogenesis. [less ▲]

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See detailA Promising Perspective for Pathologies Diagnosis by MALDI In-Source Decay Imaging with a FTMS System.
Calligaris, David ULg; Debois, Delphine ULg; Turtoi, Andrei ULg et al

Poster (2012, May 23)

Introduction MALDI imaging mass spectrometry has proven to be effective for the discovery and the monitoring of disease-related proteins. With this technique a molecular diagnosis could be done directly ... [more ▼]

Introduction MALDI imaging mass spectrometry has proven to be effective for the discovery and the monitoring of disease-related proteins. With this technique a molecular diagnosis could be done directly on tissue sections in the environment of the diseased area. The use of in-source decay (ISD), that does allow fast and reliable sequences assignments of proteins termini, is a crucial tool for the identification of known biomarkers during MALDI imaging experiments. Combined with ultra-high mass resolution and high mass measurement accuracy of Fourier transform ion-cyclotron (FTICR) mass spectrometry, it is possible to unambiguously assign sequences of proteins present in tissue slices. In this study, we have shown that FTICR mass spectrometry could be a powerful tool to diagnose pathologies by MALDI-ISD imaging. Methods All measurements were carried out on a SolariX FTMS (9.4 tesla) equipped with a Dual Source including smartbeamTMII laser which includes a robust solid state 1 kHz laser with advanced optics for molecular imaging (Bruker Daltonics). Lysozyme (14.3-kDa) or Human Serum Albumin (66.3-kDa) solution (1 mg/ml in 0.1 % TFA) was mixed with 1,5-diaminonaphthalene (DAN) and analyzed by MALDI-ISD and MALDI-ISD imaging. Mouse brain and rabbit eye tissue slices were washed (fixed) to obtain optimal sensitivity and high-quality ion. Before DAN application with an ImagePrep (Bruker Daltonics) and MALDI-ISD imaging analyzes, spots of myelin and crystalline were deposited near mouse brain or rabbit eye tissues, respectively. Results were interpreted using BioToolsTM 3.2 in combination with MascotTM (Matrix Science) for ISD spectra and FlexImagingTM 2.1 for MALDI-ISD imaging experiments. α Preliminary data The studies were carried out by MALDI-ISD and MALDI-ISD imaging analyses to evidence the interest on FTICR mass spectrometer for proteins identification in the field of biomarkers characterization. It is demonstrated that protein ISD leads to the same pattern of fragmentation observed during MALDI-TOF analyzes. Fragmentation generates cn- and zn-series ions of lysozyme and HSA in presence of DAN. Supplementary an-, bn-, xn- and yn-series ions can also be observed. The internal calibration of all the data provides a mass accuracy neighboring 2.5 ppm over the m/z range of interest (300-2500 Da) and a mass resolution of 70000 at m/z 400 Da. It allows the assignment of ISD fragments of proteins, in the low mass range (m/z between 300 and 900), whether from pure solutions or included in tissue slices. Moreover, spots of pure proteins solution (myelin or crystalline) near tissue slices allows to unambiguously validate the proteins identification during MALDI ISD imaging experiments. Novel aspect This study evidences the main input of FTICR mass spectrometer for pathologies diagnosis based on biomarkers localization and identification by MALDI-ISD imaging. [less ▲]

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See detailApplication of molecular imaging in combination with quantitative proteomic approaches to determine the molecular players of adaptation to anti-angiogenic therapy in breast cancer.
Cimino, Jonathan ULg; Sounni, Nor Eddine ULg; Calligaris, David ULg et al

Poster (2012, May 04)

The recognition of the “angiogenic switch” as a rate-limiting secondary step in tumorigenesis led to extensive pre-clinical researches on angiogenesis and finally the approval of VEGF-neutralizing ... [more ▼]

The recognition of the “angiogenic switch” as a rate-limiting secondary step in tumorigenesis led to extensive pre-clinical researches on angiogenesis and finally the approval of VEGF-neutralizing antibodies (bevacizumab) and VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (RTKs:Sunitinib). The Sunitinib has been used clinically in patients with breast cancer refractory to other therapeutic agents. Unfortunately, like the cytotoxic therapies, these drugs do not produce lasting effects and resistance to treatment appeared clinically. Questions have emerged about the failure of anti-angiogenic therapy in clinic and the limitations of predictive preclinical models, and also about the molecular assessment of all stages of tumor adaptation and metastatic disease. To this end, we applied a quantitative proteomics and imaging mass spectrometry tools to visualize and study the profiles of proteins and small molecules associated with tumor treated or not with Sunitinib using a novel preclinical model of breast carcinoma cells. [less ▲]

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See detailMicroRNA-146a is a causative factor and a specific biomarker for peripartum cardiomyopathy
Halkein, Julie ULg; Tabruyn, Sébastien ULg; Haghikia, Arash et al

Poster (2012, April)

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See detailDifferential expression of Vegfr-2 and its soluble form in preeclampsia.
Munaut, Carine ULg; LORQUET, Sophie ULg; Pequeux, Christel ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2012), 7(3), 33475

Background: Several studies have suggested that the main features of preeclampsia (PE) are consequences of endothelial dysfunction related to excess circulating anti-angiogenic factors, most notably ... [more ▼]

Background: Several studies have suggested that the main features of preeclampsia (PE) are consequences of endothelial dysfunction related to excess circulating anti-angiogenic factors, most notably, soluble sVEGFR-1 (also known as sFlt-1) and soluble endoglin (sEng), as well as to decreased PlGF. Recently, soluble VEGF type 2 receptor (sVEGFR-2) has emerged as a crucial regulator of lymphangiogenesis. To date, however, there is a paucity of information on the changes of VEGFR-2 that occur during the clinical onset of PE. Therefore, the aim of our study was to characterize the plasma levels of VEGFR-2 in PE patients and to perform VEGFR-2 immunolocalization in placenta. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: By ELISA, we observed that the VEGFR-2 plasma levels were reduced during PE compared with normal gestational age matched pregnancies, whereas the VEGFR-1 and Eng plasma levels were increased. The dramatic drop in the VEGFR-1 levels shortly after delivery confirmed its placental origin. In contrast, the plasma levels of Eng and VEGFR-2 decreased only moderately during the early postpartum period. An RT-PCR analysis showed that the relative levels of VEGFR-1, sVEGFR-1 and Eng mRNA were increased in the placentas of women with severe PE. The relative levels of VEGFR-2 mRNA as well as expressing cells, were similar in both groups. We also made the novel finding that a recently described alternatively spliced VEGFR-2 mRNA variant was present at lower relative levels in the preeclamptic placentas. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results indicate that the plasma levels of anti-angiogenic factors, particularly VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2, behave in different ways after delivery. The rapid decrease in plasma VEGFR-1 levels appears to be a consequence of the delivery of the placenta. The persistent circulating levels of VEGFR-2 suggest a maternal endothelial origin of this peptide. The decreased VEGFR-2 plasma levels in preeclamptic women may serve as a marker of endothelial dysfunction. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterization of synovial angiogenesis in osteoarthritis patients and its modulation by chondroitin sulfate
Lambert, Cécile ULg; Mathy-Hartert, Marianne; Dubuc, JE et al

in Arthritis Research & Therapy (2012), 14(2), 58

INTRODUCTION: This work aimed at comparing the production of inflammatory and pro- and anti-angiogenic factors by normal/reactive (N/R) or inflammatory (I) areas of the osteoarthritic synovial membrane ... [more ▼]

INTRODUCTION: This work aimed at comparing the production of inflammatory and pro- and anti-angiogenic factors by normal/reactive (N/R) or inflammatory (I) areas of the osteoarthritic synovial membrane. The effects of interleukin (IL)-1β and chondroitin sulfate (CS) on the expression of pro- and anti-angiogenic factors by synovial fibroblasts cells (SFC) were also studied. METHODS: Biopsies from N/R or from I areas of osteoarthritic synovial membrane were collected at the time of surgery. The inflammatory status of the synovial membrane was characterized by the surgeon according to macroscopic criteria, including the synovial vascularization, the villi formation and the hypertrophic aspect of the tissue. We assessed the expression of CD45, von Willebrand factor and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) antigen by immunohistochemistry in both N/R and I biopsies. The production of IL-6, -8, VEGF and thrombospondin (TSP)-1 by N/R or I synovial cells was quantified by ELISA. SFC were cultured in the absence or in the presence of IL-1β (1 ng/ml) and with or without CS (10, 50, 200 μg/ml). Gene expression of pro-angiogenic factors (VEGF, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), nerve growth factor (NGF), matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and angiopoietin (ang)-1) and anti-angiogenic factors (vascular endothelial growth inhibitor (VEGI), TSP-1 and -2) were determined by real time RT-PCR. Production of VEGI and TSP-1 was also estimated by ELISA. RESULTS: Immunohistochemistry showed the increase of lymphocyte infiltration, vascular density and VEGF expression in I compared to N/R synovial biopsies. Synovial cells from I areas produced more IL-6, IL-8 and VEGF but less TSP-1 than cells isolated from N/R synovial biopsies. The expression of pro-angiogenic factors by SFC was stimulated by IL-1β. A time dependent regulation of the expression of anti-angiogenic factor genes was observed. IL-1β stimulated the expression of anti-angiogenic factor genes but inhibited it after 24 h. CS reversed the inhibitory effect of IL-1β on anti-angiogenic factors, VEGI and TSP-1. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that synovial biopsies from I areas expressed a pro-angiogenic phenotype. IL-1β induced an imbalance between pro- and anti-angiogenic factors in SFC and CS tended to normalize this IL-1β-induced imbalance, providing a new possible mechanism of action of this drug. [less ▲]

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See detailMT1-MMP protects breast carcinoma cells against type I collagen-induced apoptosis
Maquoi, Erik ULg; Assent, Delphine; Detilleux, Julien et al

in Oncogene (2012), 31(4), 480-93

As invading breast carcinoma cells breach their underlying basement membrane, they become confronted with a dense three-dimensional reactive stroma dominated by type I collagen. To develop metastatic ... [more ▼]

As invading breast carcinoma cells breach their underlying basement membrane, they become confronted with a dense three-dimensional reactive stroma dominated by type I collagen. To develop metastatic capabilities, invading tumor cells must acquire the capacity to negotiate this novel microenvironment. Collagen influences the fate of epithelial cells by inducing apoptosis. However, the mechanisms used by invading tumor cells to evade collagen-induced apoptosis remain to be defined. We demonstrate that membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP/MMP-14) confers breast cancer cells with the ability to escape apoptosis when embedded in a collagen gel and after orthotopic implantation in vivo. In the absence of MMP-14-dependent proteolysis, type I collagen triggers apoptosis by inducing the expression of the pro-apoptotic Bcl-2-interacting killer in luminal-like breast cancer cells. These findings reveal a new mechanism whereby MMP-14 activity promotes tumor progression by circumventing apoptosis. [less ▲]

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See detailMiR-146a an angiostatic miRNA elevated in peripartum cardiomyopathy
Halkein, Julie ULg; Tabruyn, Sébastien ULg; Haghikia, Arash et al

Poster (2012, January)

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See detailThe proteolytic activity of MT4-MMP is required for its proangiogenic and pro-metastatic promoting effects
Host, Lorin; Paye, Alexandra ULg; Detry, Benoît ULg et al

in International Journal of Cancer = Journal International du Cancer (2012), 131(7), 1537-1548

MT4-MMP expression in breast adenocarcinoma stimulates tumor growth and metastatic spreading to the lung. However whether these pro-tumorigenic and pro-metastatic effects of MT4-MMP are related to a ... [more ▼]

MT4-MMP expression in breast adenocarcinoma stimulates tumor growth and metastatic spreading to the lung. However whether these pro-tumorigenic and pro-metastatic effects of MT4-MMP are related to a proteolytic action is not known yet. Through site directed mutagenesis MT4-MMP has been inactivated in cancer cells through Glutamic acid 249 substitution by Alanine in the active site. Active MT4-MMP triggered an angiogenic switch at day 7 after tumor implantation and drastically accelerated subcutaneous tumor growth as well as lung colonization in RAG -/- mice. All these effects were abrogated upon MT4-MMP inactivation. In sharp contrast to most MMPs being primarily of stromal origin, we provide evidence that tumor-derived MT4-MMP, but not host-derived MT4-MMP contributes to angiogenesis. A genetic approach using MT4-MMP-deficient mice revealed that the status of MT4-MMP produced by host cells did not affect the angiogenic response. Despite of this tumor intrinsic feature, to exert its tumor promoting effect, MT4-MMP requires a permissive microenvironment. Indeed, tumor-derived MT4-MMP failed to circumvent the lack of an host angio-promoting factor such as lasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1). Overall, our study demonstrates the key contribution of MT4-MMP catalytic activity in the tumor compartment, at the interface with host cells. It identifies MT4-MMP as a key intrinsic tumor cell determinant that contributes to the elaboration of a permissive microenvironment for metastatic dissemination [less ▲]

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See detailIsoform 111 of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF111) improves angiogenesis of ovarian tissue xenotransplantation
Labied, Soraya ULg; Delforge, Yves ULg; Blacher, Silvia ULg et al

in Journal of Assisted Reproduction & Genetics (2012), 28(11), 1009

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See detailCurcumin-cyclodextrin complexes potentiate gemcitabine effects in an orthotopic mouse model of lung cancer.
Rocks, Natacha ULg; Bekaert, Sandrine ULg; Coia, I et al

in British Journal of Cancer (2012), 107(7), 1083-92

Background:Overall clinical outcome for advanced lung cancer remains very disappointing despite recent advances in treatment. Curcumin has been reported as potentially active against cancer.Methods:Owing ... [more ▼]

Background:Overall clinical outcome for advanced lung cancer remains very disappointing despite recent advances in treatment. Curcumin has been reported as potentially active against cancer.Methods:Owing to poor curcumin solubility, we have used cyclodextrins (CD) as an excipient allowing a considerable increase of aqueous solubility and bioavailability of curcumin. The effects of solubilised curcumin have been evaluated in cell cultures as well as in an in vivo orthotopic lung tumour mouse model.Results:Cell proliferation was reduced while apoptosis rates were increased when lung epithelial tumour cells were cultured in the presence of curcumin-CD complexes. For in vivo experiments, cells were grafted into lungs of C57Bl/6 mice treated by an oral administration of a non-soluble form of curcumin, CDs alone or curcumin-CD complexes, combined or not with gemcitabine. The size of orthotopically implanted lung tumours was reduced upon curcumin complex administration as compared with treatments with placebo or non-solubilised curcumin. Moreover, curcumin potentiated the gemcitabine-mediated antitumour effects.Conclusion:Our data demonstrate that curcumin, when given orally in a CD-solubilised form, reduces lung tumour size in vivo. In vitro experiments show impaired tumour cell proliferation and increased cell apoptosis. Moreover, our data underline a potential additive effect of curcumin with gemcitabine thus providing an efficient therapeutic option for antilung cancer therapy. [less ▲]

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See detailDoes vascular endothelial growth factor improve ovarian tissue recovery after cryopreservation?
Henry, Laurie ULg; Fransolet, Maïté ULg; Labied, Soraya ULg et al

in Giornale italiano di obstetricia e gynecologia (2012)

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See detailNebulized Anti-IL-13 Monoclonal Antibody Fab' Fragment Reduces Allergen-Induced Asthma
Hacha, Jonathan ULg; Tomlinson, K; Maertens, Ludovic ULg et al

in American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology (2012), sous presse

Rationale: Interleukin-13 (IL-13) is a prototypic Th2 cytokine and a central mediator of the complex cascade of events leading to asthmatic phenotype. Indeed, IL-13 plays key roles in IgE synthesis ... [more ▼]

Rationale: Interleukin-13 (IL-13) is a prototypic Th2 cytokine and a central mediator of the complex cascade of events leading to asthmatic phenotype. Indeed, IL-13 plays key roles in IgE synthesis, bronchial hyperresponsiveness, mucus hypersecretion, subepithelial fibrosis and eosinophil infiltration. Objectives: We assessed the potential efficacy of inhaled anti-IL-13 monoclonal antibody Fab' fragment on allergen-induced airway inflammation, hyperresponsiveness and remodeling in an experimental model of allergic asthma. Anti-IL-13 Fab' was administered to mice as a liquid aerosol generated by inExpose® inhalation system in a tower allowing a nose-only exposure. Methods: BALB/c mice were treated by PBS, anti-IL-13 Fab' or A33 Fab' fragment and subjected to ovalbumin (OVA) exposure for 1 and 5 weeks (short term (ST) and long term (LT) protocols). Measurements and Main Results: Our data demonstrate a significant anti-asthma effect following nebulization of anti-IL-13 Fab' in a model of asthma driven by allergen exposure as compared to saline and non-immune Fab fragments. In short and long terms protocols, administration of the anti-IL-13 Fab' by inhalation significantly decreased bronchial responsiveness to methacholine, BALF eosinophilia, inflammatory cell infiltration in lung tissue, and many features of airway remodeling. Levels of pro-inflammatory mediators and matrix metalloprotease levels were significantly lower in lung parenchyma of mice treated with anti-IL-13 Fab'. Conclusions: These data demonstrate that an inhaled anti-IL-13 Fab' significantly reduces airway inflammation, hyperresponsiveness and remodeling. Specific neutralization of IL-13 in the lungs using an inhaled anti-IL-13 Fab' could represent a novel and effective therapy for the treatment of asthma. [less ▲]

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